Bruce Carter showed a lot of potential under Rob Ryan in 2012, but really struggled with Monte Kiffin at the helm last year. The only constant for the Dallas Cowboys‘ defense has been change. Rod Marinelli isn’t going to throw a pity party for Carter, and that’s why he will be much better this year.
The job of a coach is to put his players in the best position possible to be successful. They also have to manage egos and make sure everyone is on the same page. However, he can’t spend his time babying each and every player. These guys are professional athletes and being physically and mentally tough is a huge part of their job.
When asked about his defense and specifically Carter, Marinelli had the following comments (via ESPN.com),“Go play, It’s a man’s game, man. Play it the right way. That’s what I want. We’re going to coach it. We’ll coach you hard. Be where you’re supposed to be. This is what we expect. And then go.”
There will be no excuses for Bruce Carter this year. He will either prove he can play in the NFL or prove to be a bust. He, his teammates’ and his coaches’ jobs depend on him making a big improvement. They don’t have time to sit around and wait for him to get it.
Carter didn’t force a fumble or come up with an interception last year. He was benched after four games, and that was on the league’s worst defense. The Cowboys considered drafting a proven play-making linebacker like Ryan Shazier, with their first-round pick. If the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t scoop him up before Dallas had their selection, we might not even be talking about Carter at this point.
Marinelli has had a lot of success putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing turnovers. He has proven himself to be an excellent defensive mind. He knows who will fit in and who can be disposed of. If Carter can’t measure up he might be shown the door.
Carter is obviously down to his last chance. His back is against the wall, and many times that’s what it takes to get the best out of a player. If Marinelli can’t get it out of him, he may be a lost cause.